The Neue Pinakothek (New Pinakothek) is an art museum in Munich, Germany. Its focus is European Art of the 18th and 19th century and is one of the most important museums of art of the nineteenth century in the world. Together with the Alte Pinakothek and the Pinakothek der Moderne it is part of Munich's "Kunstareal" (the "art area"). The new home of the Neue Pinakothek, opened in 1981.
The museum was founded by the former King Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1853. The original building constructed by Friedrich von Gärtner and August von Voit was destroyed during World War II. The ruin of the Neue Pinakothek was demolished in 1949. Designed by architect Alexander Freiherr von Branca the new postmodern building opened in 1981.
Ludwig began to collect contemporary art already as crown prince in 1809 and his collection has been steadily enlarged. When the museum was founded the separtation to the old masters in the Alte Pinakothek was fixed with the period shortly before the turn of the 19th century, which has become a prototype for many galleries.
The delimitation to the modern painters displayed in the Pinakothek der Moderne was later fixed by taking the restart of Henri Matisse and the Expressionists into account (ca. 1900). Consequentially a painting of Matisse acquired by the "Tschudi Contribution" is displayed in the Pinakothek der Moderne. The so-called Tschudi Contribution in 1905/1914 led to an extraordinary collection of masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Hugo von Tschudi, general director of the State Collections acquired 44 paintings, nine sculptures and 22 drawings, mostly from new French artists. But since public funds could not be used to purchase these works, Tschudi’s associates came up with the money from private contributions after his death in 1911.
In 1915 the Neue Pinakothek became the property of the Bavarian state. A self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh was confiscated in 1938 by the Nazi regime as degenerate art and sold one year later.